Associate Professor Daniel Steffens  BPhty(Hons), PhD – Director

Dr Daniel Steffens is the Deputy Director of the Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe). At SOuRCe, Dr Steffens manage and supervise a large research team working in the following flagship surgical programs: Advanced Gastrointestinal Surgical Program (including Pelvic Exenteration, Peritonectomy, Advanced Upper Gastrointestinal and Sarcoma), Surgical Robotics Program, Orthopaedic and the Vascular Surgical Research Program.

Dr Steffens is a Clinical Senior Lecturer at The University of Sydney, where he contributes to teaching postgraduate students in research methods. Dr Steffens is currently supervising several higher degree students and is actively involved in The University of Sydney MD Program.

Dr Steffens research skills and interest includes conducting clinical trials, systematic reviews, measuring risk factors and exploring prognosis and prevention strategies for health related conditions. Dr Steffens is the Chief-Investigator of the PRIORITY Trial – An NHMRC funded trial investigating the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a preoperative exercise and education program on the reduction of postoperative complication in patients undergoing advanced gastrointestinal cancer surgery.

Tel: (02) 9515 3203



                       Ms Madhu Prasad  Dip Telecom Engineering, Dip Travel & Tourism/Secretarial Studies – Administrative Officer

Ms Prasad joined SOuRCe in August 2009 as an administrative assistant, having held similar positions with the Registrar’s office at the University of the South Pacific and the Faculty of Medicine, the University of Sydney. Madhu has a detailed understanding of administrative policy and procedures relating to research, purchasing, finance and governance within both the SLHD and the University of Sydney which is invaluable to streamline SOuRCe’s operations across both organisations for staff and students. Given the dispersed nature of most of SOuRCe’s affiliates and collaborators, Madhu’s skilful coordination and liaison is crucial for the group’s success. Madhu provides a central point of communication and liaison, co-ordinates meetings and conferences, manages the office and research resources, develops and maintains records and archive systems, and assists students, surgeons and other researchers with administration of research grants, ethics applications, manuscripts and dissertations. Madhu is integral to the success of SOuRCe as a research and education centre.

Tel: (02) 9515 3200



                         Mr Sascha Karunaratne  BHlthSci(Hon), MPhty – SOuRCe Research Manager

Sascha graduated as a Physiotherapist from the Western Sydney University and joined SOuRCe in January 2017. He was integral in the formation of the Orthopaedic Surgery Research Program, before transitioning to his current role as our SOuRCe Research Manager. He now assists the Director with the management and supervision of the unit’s numerous multi-disciplinary projects which cover a wide range of surgeries. These include Pelvic Exenteration, Peritonectomy, Advanced Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery, Robotic Surgery, Vascular Surgery and Orthopaedic Surgery.

Sascha is concurrently pursuing his PhD in decision-making in total knee arthroplasty under the supervision of Professors Michael Solomon, Ian Harris, Lyndal Trevena and Dr Mark Horsley. His thesis is exploring the process patients, in collaboration with their medical team, follow when considering whether knee arthroplasty is the best option for them. Through interviewing and evaluating response from patients, Orthopaedics surgeons, Rheumatologists, General Practitioners and Physiotherapists, his PhD hopes to identify the best process to assist patients in making informed decisions.

Tel: (02) 9515 3464



                        Ms Kadja Benicio  BPhty(Hons), MPhty – Pelvic Exenteration Research Officer

Kadja joined SOuRCe in November 2019 as one of the Pelvic Exenteration Research Officers. She is a Physiotherapist graduated in Brazil at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte and completed a Masters of Physiotherapy with emphasis in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation in 2016. Prior to her work at SOuRCe, Kadja worked as a Physiotherapist in the Neonatal Intensive Care area. She has a great interest in public health and has been involved in research since 2011.

At SOuRCe, Kadja works alongside her colleague, Olivia, at the Pelvic Exenteration surgical department. They assist in the running and coordination of various studies. Kadja’s main responsibility is the management of the PESQI (Pelvic Exenteration Surgery Quality Improvement) database and the coordination of a large longitudinal study investigating the quality of life of patients after surgery.

Tel: (02) 9515 6406



                         Ms Olivia Fox  BPubHlthNutr, MGlobHth –  Pelvic Exenteration Research Officer

Olivia joined SOuRCe in late 2019 as one of the Pelvic Exenteration Research Officers. The Pelvic Exenteration service at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital has been operating for more than 25 years and has seen over 800 patients proceed through surgery. Olivia works alongside her colleague, Kadja, on a large longitudinal study aiming to investigate patient quality of life and clinical outcomes for this pelvic exenteration patient cohort. As part of her role at SOuRCe, Olivia also provides advice and technical support for additional research projects taking place within the pelvic exenteration program.

Olivia has recently completed her Masters of Global Health at the University of Sydney, and has previously completed a Bachelor of Public Health Nutrition at the University of Wollongong. Prior to joining SOuRCe, Olivia worked across a number of community based organisations focusing on implementing evidence based public health practice to strengthen health policy and improve health outcomes.

Tel: (02) 9515 3208



                         Ms Jenna Bartyn  BHlthSci, MPH – Priority Trial Research Officer

Jenna recently joined SOuRCe as the PRIORITY Trial Research Officer in December 2020. Her role involves assisting with the coordination of the study, which focuses on a preoperative exercise and education program for patients undergoing surgery for major advanced or recurrent gastrointestinal cancer.

Jenna has completed a Bachelor of Health Science (Indigenous Health) and a Master of Public Health from the University of Wollongong. She has an interest in health promotion and public health. Jenna gained a passion for conducting research whilst completing her postgraduate studies, and has continued to develop her research experience being involved in research projects at different institutions. Jenna is interested in further developing her research skills and experiencing how programs can improve individuals’ quality of life.

Tel: (02) 9515 3207



                         Ms Nicole Jade Gonzaga  BPubHlth (Epidemiology) – Peritonectomy Research Officer

Nicole joined SOuRCe early 2021 as the Peritonectomy Research Program’s Research Officer. The Peritonectomy Research Program aims to provide comprehensive data to support the understanding of the surgical outcomes, quality of life and cost effectiveness. Nicole is supporting the coordination of the Peritonectomy Research Program and is involved in data management, planning, implementation of surgical research studies conducted within SOuRCe and the Institute of Academic Surgery (IAS).

Nicole is a final year Masters of Global Health student at the University of New South Wales. She has also completed Bachelor of Public Health – Epidemiology at the University of Wollongong awarded in 2017.  Prior to SOuRCe, Nicole has worked across many sectors such as NPS Medicine Wise, Surf Life Saving Australia and The University of Sydney’s Translational Australian Clinical Toxicology Research Group. She has extensive experience in governance of sensitive datasets, project management and clinical epidemiology. Her experience in research within injury prevention, mental health, toxicology and drug and alcohol and now cancer research has all collectively aimed to improve big data governance, data collection methods and population service health approaches. Nicole’s interests lie in mixed methods research, clinical epidemiology, program evaluation, health economics and improving national and global health outcomes.

Tel: (02) 9515 3205



                       Mr Nicholas Hirst  BMedSc, MPH – Robotics Research Officer

Nicholas joined SOuRCe in March 2021 as the Robotics Research Officer. Under the leadership of several surgeons, Nicholas oversees multiple surgical robotic research databases and trials across the specialities of urology, colorectal, cardiothoracic, gynaecology and upper gastrointestinal.

Nicholas has completed a Bachelor of Medical Science (Immunobiology) and a Master of Public Health (Communicable Disease Control) at the University of Sydney. Prior to joining SOuRCe, Nicholas worked alongside Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s Public Health Unit team and separately in healthcare workforce research. These experiences precipitated a keen interest in medical research for Nicholas, particularly translating evidence based research into clinical practice as well as patient-centred care.

Tel: (02) 9515 3204




                         Ms Anna Disney  BA, MCAud – Upper Gastrointestinal Research Officer

Anna joined SOuRCe in 2021 is the Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery Research Office. The role involves the management and reporting of data relating to clinical and quality of life outcomes for patients undergoing upper gastrointestinal surgery within SLHD. Anna also contributes support to SOuRCe and Institute of Academic Surgery research projects investigating a variety of topics relating to upper gastrointestinal surgery.

Anna completed a Masters of Clinical Audiology (MCAud) at Macquarie University in 2015, including a research project at the National Acoustic Laboratories trialling a newly developed Cortical Auditory Evoked Potentials-based hearing test module. Since then, Anna is worked in adult hearing rehabilitation, public health administration and research in areas such as end of life care planning, integrated primary care and telehealth/virtual care implementation.

Tel: (02) 9515 3209



                         Ms Sarah Hirst  BHlthSc, MScMed (Infection & Immunity), MIPH – Vascular Research Officer

Sarah joined SOuRCe in May 2021 as the Vascular Surgery Research Officer. In collaboration with the vascular surgery team Sarah oversees relevant databases and trials looking at post-operative outcomes and quality of life for vascular surgery patients.

Sarah has a Bachelor of Health Science from the University of Wollongong, a Master of Science in Medicine (Infection and Immunity) and a Master of International Public Health from the University of Sydney. Prior to joining SOuRCe, Sarah worked for the Western Sydney University and across Sydney Local Health District in a number of different supportive roles. Her research interests have included Healthy Urban Environments, Food Deserts, Food Insecurity Taxes, Infectious Diseases and Mental Health.

Tel: (02) 9515 3211



                       Ms Linny Wu  BMedSci, BBusiness – Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Research Officer

Linny joined SOuRCe in September 2021 as the Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Biobank and Research Officer. Linny completed a Bachelor of Medical Science and a Bachelor of Business at the University of Technology, Sydney in 2012. Prior to joining SOuRCe, Linny worked for NSW Health Pathology as a laboratory technician in Anatomical Pathology.

Linny currently supports the clinical and research teams at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and SOuRCe with preparing, processing and managing of biological samples in the RPA/Lifehouse Biobank and Database. Under the leadership of several surgeons, her role also involves the administration of sample data and management of relevant databases that provide comprehensive data to support the understanding of surgical and quality of life outcomes for patients undergoing soft tissue sarcoma resections.

Tel: (02) 9515 3206




Ms Kate Alexander  BSc(MedSci), BAdvStudies(Hons) – Orthopaedic Research Officer

Kate joined SOuRCe in November 2021 as the Orthopaedic Research Officer. In her role, Kate oversees the co-ordination of many different types of studies within the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Kate is largely involved in the management and collection of data for projects relating to clinical and quality of life outcomes for patients undergoing orthopaedic surgery, of note the follow-up of patient reported outcomes in lower limb robotic arthroplasty.

Kate has recently completed a Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Honours) in Infectious Diseases and Immunology from The University of Sydney. She has previously completed a Bachelor of Science (Medical Science) from The University of Sydney. Kate has developed a passion for medical research throughout her studies, with particular interests in implementing evidence based research into clinical practice to improve health outcomes.

Tel: (02) 9515 3210